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And rest your gentle head upon her lap,
Morr. With all my heart I'll sit, and hear her sing: By that time will our book," I think, be drawn.
8 And on your eyelids crown the god of sleep,] The expression is fine; intimating, that the god of Neep should not only fit on his eyelids, but that he should fit crown'd, that is, pleased and delighted.
WARBURTON. The same image (whatever idea it was meant to convey) occurs in Beaumont and Fletcher's Philafter:
who shall take up his lute,
The it corruptic Mortime dominion
Again, in nomeo ana juuret :
“ Upon his brow fame is alham'd to fit,
“ Sole monarch of the universal earth." Again, in King Henry V :
“ As if allegiance in their bofoms fat,
“ Crowned with faith and constant loyalty." Malone. 9 Making such difference 'twixt wake and sleep,] She will lull you by her song into soft tranquillity, in which you shall be fo near to sleep as to be free from perturbation, and so much awake as to be senlible of pleasure; a itate partaking of Neep and wakefulness, as the twilight of night and day. JOHNSON.
* our book,] Our paper of conditions. JOHNSON,
GLEND. Do fo;
Hot. Come, Kate, thou art perfect in lying down: Come, quick, quick; that I may lay my head in thy lap.
LADY P. Go, ye giddy goose.
Glendower speaks fome Welsh words,
and then the mufick plays.
Ladr P. Then should you be nothing but mufical; for you are altogether govern'd by humours. Lie still, ye thief, and hear the lady sing in Welsh.
Hor. I had rather hear Lady, my brach, howl in
LADY P. Would'st thou have thy head broken?
3 And those musicians that shall play to you,
Hang in the air a thousand leagues from hence;
STEEVENS. Glendower had before boasted that he could call spirits from the vafty deep; he now pretends to equal power over the spirits of the air. Sit, says he to Mortimer, and, by my power, you shall have heavenly musick. The musicians that shall play to you, now hang in the air a thousand miles from the earth : I will summon them, and they shall straight be here." And straight” is the reading of the most authentick copies, the quarto 1598, and the folio 1623, and indeed of all the other ancient editions. Mr. Rowe firit introduced the reading-Yet straight, which all the subsequent editors have adopted; but the change does not seem absolutely necessary.
LaDr P. Then be ftill.
A Welsh Song sung by Lady M.
Hor. Not yours, in good footh! 'Heart, you swear like a comfit-maker's wife! Not you, in good sooth; and, As true as I live; and, As God shall mend me; and, As sure as day: And giv'st such farcenet furety for thy oaths, As if thou never walk’dft further than Finsbury.
4 Neither; 'tis a woman's fault.] I do not plainly see what is a woman's fault. Johnson.
It is a woman's fault, is spoken ironically. Farmer. This is a proverbial expression. I find it in The Birth of Merlin, 1662:
“ 'Tis a woman's fault: Pof this bashfulness." Again :
" A woman's fault, we are subject to it, fir.” Again, in Greene's Planetomachia, 1585:" a woman's faulte, to thruft away that with her little finger, whiche they pull to them with both their hands."
I believe the meaning is this: Hotspur having declared his resolution neither to have his head broken, nor to fit still, Nily adds, that such is the usual fault of women ; i. e. never to do what they are bid or desired to do. Steevens.
The whole tenor of Hotspur's conversation in this scene shows, that the stillness which he here imputes to women as a fault, was something very different from silence; and that an idea was couched under these words, which may be better understood than explained.He is still in the Welsh lady's bedchamber. White.
As if thou never walk'dt further than Finsbury.] Open walks
Swear me, Kate, like a lady, as thou art,
and fields near Chiswell-ftreet, London Wall, by Moorgate; the common resort of the citizens, as appears from many of our ancient comedies. I suppose the verse originally (but elliptically) ran thus :
As thou ne'er walk’dst further than Finsbury. i. e. as if thou ne'er &c. STEEVENS.
—such proteft of pepper-gingerbread,] i. e. protestations as common as the letters which children learn from an alphabet of ginger-bread. What we now call Spice ginger-bread was then called pepper ginger-bread. STEVENS. Such protestations as are uttered by the makers of gingerbread.
MALONE. Hotspur had just told his wife that she “ swore like a comfitmaker's wife;" such protests therefore of pepper ginger-bread, as “ in footh,” &c. were to be left to persons of that class.
HENLEY. 1-velvet-guards,] To such as have their clothes adorned with shreds of velvet, which was, I suppose, the finery of cockneys. JOHNSON.
“ The cloaks, doublets, &c. (says Stubbs, in his Anatomie of Abuses) were guarded with velvet guards, or else laced with coftly lace.” Speaking of women's gowns, he adds: “ they must be guarded with great guards of velvet, every guard four or fix fingers broad at the least."
So, in The Malco t, 1606:
“ You are in good case since you came to court; garded, garded :
Yes faith, even footmen and bawds wear velvet." Velvet guards appear, however, to have been a city fabion. So, in Hiftriomastix, 1610:
Nay, I myself will wear the courtly grace:
“ These fimp'ring fashions simply followed!" Again :
• I like this jewel; I'll have his fellow.
LADY P. I will not sing.
Hor. 'Tis the next way to turn tailor, or be redbreast teacher. An the indentures be drawn, I'll
To velvet guards means, I believe, to the higher rank of female citizens, the wives of either merchants or wealthy shopkeepers. It appears from the following passage in The London Prodigal, 1605, that a guarded gown was the best dress of a city lady in the time of our author:
“ Frances. But Tom, muft I go as I do now, when I am married? “ Civet. No, Franke, [i. e. Frances,] I'll have thee go
like citizen, in a garded gown, and a French hood.”
Fynes Morison is still more express to the same point, and furnishes us with the best comment on the words before us. Describing the dress of the various orders of the people of England, he says, “ At public meetings the aldermen of London weere skarlet gownes, and their wives a close gown of skarlet, with gardes of black velvet." Itin. fol. 1617, P. III. p. 179. See Vol. IV. p. 282, n. 2. MALONE.
8 'Tis the next way to turn tailor, &c.] I suppose Percy means, that singing is a mean quality, and therefore he excuses his lady.
JOHNSON. The next way—is the nearest way. So, in Lingua, &c. 1607: “ The quadrature of a circle; the philosopher's stone; and the next way to the Indies.” Tailors seem to have been as remarkable for singing, as weavers, of whose musical turn Shakspeare has more than once made mention. Beaumont and Fletcher, in The Knight of the Burning Pefle, speak of this quality in the former : “ Never trust a tailor that does not fing at his work; his mind is on nothing but filching."
The honourable Daines Barrington observes, that " a gold-finch still continues to be called a proud tailor, in some parts of England; (particularly Warwickshire, Shakspeare's native country) which renders this passage intelligible, that otherwise seems to have no meaning whatsoever.” Perhaps this bird is called a proud tailor, because his plumage is varied like a suit of clothes made out of remnants of different colours, such as a tailor might be supposed to wear. The sense then will be this:- The next thing to singing oneself, is to teach birds to fing, the goldfinch and the robin. I hope the poet meant to inculcate, that singing is a quality deItructive to its poffeffor; and that after a person has ruined himself by it, he may be reduced to the neceffity of inftructing birds in an art which can render birds alone more valuable.